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A Universe from Nothing?


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Initial post: Feb 20, 2013 1:48:41 PM PST
We too often hear theists complain that "something" had to precede the Big Bang. They often leap to the conclusion that it must have been "god."

Here's an article to undermine that faulty belief: <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=something-from-nothing-vacuum-can-yield-flashes-of-light&WT.mc_id=SA_WR_20130220>

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 1:56:45 PM PST
Hey, if you can get flashed from nothing, why not use it to make free electricity and solve all the world's poverty issues?
Why is that we don't see things and universes popping all around us or disappearing into oblivion?
I am not saying you are wrong. I am saying, something does not add up.

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 5:25:27 PM PST
'probabilist says:
'Philosophy is written in this immense book that stands ever open before our eyes (I speak of the Universe), but it cannot be read if one does not first learn the language and recognize the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without the means of which it is humanly impossible to understand a word; without these philosophy is a confused wandering in a dark labyrinth.'

- Galileo Galilei, in his book 'Il Saggiatore (The Assayer)', published in 1623
(as quoted in translation by Julian B. Barbour in his book:
The Discovery of Dynamics
Oxford University Press, 2001)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 5:36:27 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
Perhaps God is identical to the quantum vacuum.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 6:19:46 PM PST
'probabilist says:
> Perhaps God is identical to the quantum vacuum.

...or perhaps the quantum vacuum is His footstool...

,.-)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 8:07:33 PM PST
Ariex says:
Shiv K. Singh says: "Hey, if you can get flashed from nothing, why not use it to make free electricity and solve all the world's poverty issues?
Why is that we don't see things and universes popping all around us or disappearing into oblivion?"

Ariex: Perhaps if you read the article or at least knew something about quantum mechanics maybe you would think about the information instead of trying to make it look ridiculous because you don't like the implications of a universe from nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 8:20:41 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 10:58:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2013 11:00:22 PM PST
Shiv K. Singh - " if you can get flashed from nothing, why not use it to make free electricity and solve all the world's poverty issues?"

That something doesn't happen often enough or quickly enough for us to exploit it to meet our needs doesn't mean it doesn't happen. That's like me implying that continental drift isn't real, since I can't just stand on the beach and wait for Europe to come to me.

"Why is that we don't see things and universes popping all around us or disappearing into oblivion?"

A little reading on quantum mechanics would answer that. Our 'common sense' is a poor guide to the validity of quantum mechanics, or any of its predictions. Our common sense is calibrated to a specific scale of size and time, one that isn't applicable to events of this type. Our intuition doesn't scale to a multiverse.

There's a whole book about this subject - A Universe from Nothing

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 5:22:41 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
And it couldn't have happened because... well, because Horsie says so! He doesn't like the idea, therefore it's impossible!

Hey, everyone... did you know Horsie is God?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 6:31:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2013 6:35:37 AM PST
Sorry Ariex,
I do not need to know the molecular composition of a medicine to get the benefits of that medicine.
I do not need to know quantum physics, to be able to see the effect of it.

If it looks ridiculous, then it must be like that.

On one side, we talk about conservation of energy, and another side, energy is bursting of the seams all over the place from nothing.
So, which one is it?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 6:35:08 AM PST
Sorry Mark,
Your analogy with Continental drift is quite a bad one, and actual works against you.
Anyone, can use his common sense, to show that the continental drift happens everyday.

Read my other post. I do not need to know quantum physics, to see its effects. The cause and effect are different things.
And please do not use ignorance to justify science.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 6:46:39 AM PST
Shiv K. Singh - "Anyone, can use his common sense, to show that the continental drift happens everyday."

Please explain how one's common sense would indicate that the continents are moving.

" I do not need to know quantum physics, to see its effects. "

How do you know what effects would be expected from quantum mechanics, if you don't know anything about quantum mechanics?

Posted on Feb 21, 2013 7:28:43 AM PST
Thanks for the link, CFM. I am puzzled, however. Is a "vacuum" "nothing"? Or is "nothing" in a space? And is the space "something"? Or is the "space" what is meant by "nothing"? I would very much appreciate guidance out of my puzzlement.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 9:01:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2013 9:09:56 AM PST
A Customer says:
That is not something from nothing. Quantum vacuum fluctuations occur in pre-existing fields, whether it be an electromagnetic field, or a gravitational field, it is the field that "births" the quantum fluctuation particles. In addition you need the entire pre-existing space-time arena of the universe to birth these particles. The idea of the entire space-time arena with it's accompanying mass-energy coming into existance from "nothing" is a difference of not merely degree but of kind from what you are referring to with quantum fluctuations.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 9:17:16 AM PST
Shiv K. Singh says:
"Hey, if you can get flashed from nothing, why not use it to make free electricity and solve all the world's poverty issues?"

Maybe you didn't read the whole article...

"The investigators caution that such experiments do not constitute a magical way to get more energy out of a system than what is input. For instance, it takes energy to change a material's index of refraction."

Nice try, but we got ya!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 9:26:59 AM PST
Macheath,

Thank you. Your post resolves my puzzle.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 9:48:48 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Quantum physics is so clearly on the verge of "discovering" the cause, which, in your terminology, occurs in "pre-existing fields". Some would call that God.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 10:27:06 AM PST
"Some would call that God."

And thereby give that word *less* actual meaning by further diluting the already long lists of claims which are made in relation to that word... claims which are usually *not* accompanied by credible evidence.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 10:34:55 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 10:51:49 AM PST
Mark,
Have you heard about earthquakes. Have you seen the Himalayas?

I don't need to to know about photons to see light.

Now, how about you answering some questions, instead of trying to hide behind questions.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 10:53:04 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 11:15:07 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
God is never a good (or valid) answer to a science question, Horsie. You know why, right?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 11:35:49 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Charles F. Mielke says:

[They often leap to the conclusion that it must have been "god."]

I had the following message saved about this subject.

The other side of this argument is scientists who say conclusively that the universe created itself are also jumping to conclusions. I mention two famous scientists who make that point, not me.

Whether or not this experiment you mention claims to prove those guys wrong I don't know. I scanned over that article but I wouldn't understand it too well anyway.

It's not an issue for me since I know God exists. Some guy creating a flash of light in a test tube isn't going to prove that God does not exist, at least for me. I'm just mentioning it in relation to this discussion.

The true nature of space may not be a pure vacuum as some people believe. The ancients believed in what they called 'the ether'.

The concepts of so called Dark Matter and Dark Energy raise questions about our understanding of what space really is. Those things are indeed dark in the sense that nobody is really sure if they even exist. Those are just names people came up with to provide a possible cause for effects they can observe but for which no actual cause can be seen.

I think Nikola Tesla may have understood the true nature of space and the ether.

Ancient monuments such as the Great Pyramid were I believe able to capture energy from various forces of nature such as the Earth's vibration, underground rivers, and Sun and other stars, and the ether.

Jeff Marzano says:

I agree with Michio Kaku and Alexei Filippenko who feel that the existence of God is not a scientific issue or question.

Filippenko said something I found interesting on an episode of the TV show The Universe called 'God And The Universe'. He said science is based on the principle of conducting experiments and verifying the results.

It is a well known and understood scientific fact that the laws of physics as they are understood today break down at the moment of creation. No experiment can be conducted to determine exactly what happened at that time. So people like Stephen Hawking who say otherwise are only guessing about it.

Michio Kaku is interesting also. When people ask him if flying saucers could be real he says show him what a race that's a million years older than ours might be capable of.

I don't usually participate in discussions about evolution versus creationism in any forums. Some people see those two things as contradicting or disproving each other but I don't think that's the case.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 11:54:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2013 11:55:02 AM PST
IFeelFree says:
PW: Is a "vacuum" "nothing"? Or is "nothing" in a space? And is the space "something"? Or is the "space" what is meant by "nothing"?

IFF: From the scientific perspective, the vacuum is a kind of field of potentiality. It contains no matter, no real particles. However, it is not empty. It is the "ground state" of quantum fields. "Virtual" particles are continually coming into existence, propagating for a brief moment, and then self-destructing. These virtual particles mediate the forces between real particles. Space, or rather space-time, is the fundamental framework within which we describe these particles, fields, the vacuum state, forces, etc. Nothing is not strictly a scientific concept. It is an abstract concept -- the absence of any "thing".

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2013 12:17:41 PM PST
Actually, the one who goes around diminishing the worldview of others, is you, Michael. It's all that you do. If you didn't do that, I don't think that you would exist, at all. Because that seems to be all that there is to you. That's why you always hang out in fora that are contrary to your worldview-- so that you can feel good about yourself, by scoffing at others, and trivializing their worldview. You are a parasite.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  331
Initial post:  Feb 20, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 15, 2013

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